Category Archives: Travel

My incredible experience traveling New Zealand’s North Island

Last week, I went on an amazing tour with Kiwi Experience, I took the Geyserland and Lake pass. We visited Hot Water Beach, Waitomo, and Rotorua. On Wednesday morning, the bus driver picked us up at the Kiwi Experience office and we took off for our backpacker adventure. Before we went out of Auckland we did a quick toilet stop at the Auckland Domain and here our bus driver told us everything about the Kiwi Experience adventure, safety, activities, and accommodation during the bus trip. After that, we started our journey to Hot Water Beach, our first stop of the bus trip. My bus driver was really amazing! He was really funny and knows everything about New Zealand. He tried to help us as much as he could with our travel and activities and he really wanted us to have fun.

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During our trip to Hot Water Beach, we stopped once in a little town with a shopping mall. We had some time to do some groceries and get some lunch. We stopped nearby a PaknSave, the cheapest supermarket in New Zealand. Kiwi Experience is really trying to think about your money and tells you when there is time to do shopping and they will tell you where you can find cheap food.

Around 14.00 pm we reached our hostel in Hot Water Beach and we had about 30 minutes to check-in, go into your room and get changed. Then we went for our first activity of the trip. The bus took us to Cathedral Cove and we had to walk 45-minutes down. It was a really easy hike and the moment you reach the beach is breathtaking. This beautiful spot was used for the movie ‘Narnia’ and it was one of the locations in the music video for the song ‘Can’t hold us’ by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. We spend an hour around the beach before we went back up. When we visited the beach, the weather was really great and the view looked like a brochure picture. We went back to the hostel for dinner and we eat some fresh fish and chips.

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We were not able to get to Hot Water Beach before 12 pm. We missed the low tide at daytime so we went to the beach at night. This experience was amazing! We went with the whole Kiwi Experience group and had to find our way in the dark. At the beach, we had to find the perfect spot where we could mix hot and cold water to make our own natural Jacuzzi! The sky was clear, so we sat under the stars and had a perfect night in the hot water. This activity is definitely one of the best experience I’ve ever had!

The next day we were really tired, but we had to get up really early because of our busy day. Most people slept the first 1,5 hours on the bus and after that, we had our first stop to get some breakfast and do some groceries for Waitomo. After our break, we did a short hike track in Krangahake. Our bus driver guided us around the track that leads us through mines.

Next, we went back on the bus and continue our drive to Waitomo. During the ride, different accommodation and activity sheets were given and you could sign up for everything you wanted. I signed up for the Maori dinner and accommodation in Rotorua the next day. When we reached Waitomo, we first had to get out tickets for the Glowworm caves and the Maori dinner or sleepover. After that, we went to the hostel and we had some free time. Around 3 pm, 10 others and I were picked up at the reception and we went for the Black Labyrinth in the glowworm caves! This tour was really impressive. We had to climb and walk in the caves and when we reached the water we did the cave tubing and some small waterfall jumping. The most impressive moment was when all the lights went out and you could see all the glowworms in the caves!

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The next day we left Waitomo to go to Rotorua. After a 10-minute drive, we stopped for a short morning hike and afterward we left for Hobbiton. I did not go to Hobbiton this time, but we had some really nice weather so the people that went on the tour had a perfect day! The people that did not choose to go on the Hobbiton tour left for the OGO balls in Rotorua. I went in the OGO balls with one other girl and it was so much fun! First, we did the Straight Track, where you race another OGO balls downhill. The second time we did the Sidewinder Track, this is de world’s largest track. When we had to wait we could just chill in some outside Jacuzzi and enjoy the view over the Rotorua lake.

After a while, our bus driver picked us up and we went to our hostel in Rotorua. I stayed here for two nights and enjoyed my time with different people in the hostel. The first night, I went with the Kiwi Experience group to Tamaki, the Maori village. This cultural experience is amazing! You will learn a lot about the Maori culture, they will show you Maori dances, tell you stories and they will sing old songs. After that, we got some traditional food that they cooked beneath the ground on hot stones. They will end the evening with all the guys performing the Haka and some lovely songs.

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The next day, I left the Kiwi Experience group and went to explore Rotorua. In the afternoon, I visited the Redwoods with some people I met in the hostel. This forest is really beautiful and you can choose to do the free hiking tracks or go for a tree walk at day or night. We ended our trip in de Lava bar that is next to the hostel!

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On my last day, I went on another Kiwi Experience bus and went back to Auckland. Before we left Rotorua, we stopped at the Rainbow Springs Nature Park to learn something about the kiwi birds in New Zealand. We got on a tour and saw some baby kiwi along the way. After the tour, my trip was done and we went back to Auckland. My experience was really great, I had the opportunity to see many beautiful places and enjoy many different activities!

 

Cheers,

Melanie

 

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View of Lake Pukaki in the South Island of New Zealand

8 Reasons to travel to New Zealand

Aotearoa, Maori for the land of the long white cloud.

New Zealand is home to some of the most beautiful and breathtaking landscapes in the world. The country is divided into two islands, where 4.6 million people and over 29 million sheep live (yes we have more sheep than people). It is where the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed and home to the best sports team in the world—the All Blacks.

If you’re still trying to decide on your next destination, here are the top 8 reasons why you should choose New Zealand;

  1. Hikers Paradise: New Zealand has many treks suitable both for newbies and experienced hikers. Both islands offer thousands of options for people who love hiking. The options for sceneries are also very varied, including forests, mountains, valleys, lakes, and rivers.

One of the most appealing characteristics of hiking in New Zealand is that there are no dangerous animals—no poisonous snakes, no deadly spiders, no dengue mosquito. So hike away with beauty and safety (remember to ensure you let someone know where you are going hiking and stick to the designated paths).

2. Beaches: Being an island (two actually), Kiwi’s have easy access to a vast amount of beaches. The country has over 29,000 km of coastline. Even in cities like Auckland, clean, beautiful beaches and ports are widely available, and some can even be accessed via ferry.

3. Incredible Nature: New Zealanders have done their best to preserve the natural habitat of the country. 13 national parks, 3 maritime parks, and hundreds of natural reserves are open for tourists. Moreover, there are several special rivers & lakes, which are protected by the government. In total, around 30% of the country’s land area is protected conservation land. Only here, can a river be considered a “legal person”.

4. Safety: The crime rates here are very low compared to other countries. New Zealand is the fourth safest country in the world.

5. A wide range of touristic offerings: It doesn’t matter whether you have a wide or tight budget—you will find an option that suits your pocket as well as your interests and time. From North to South you will find varied places to visit, so maybe the only difficulty would be to choose which ones!

6. Amazing Road Trips: Renting a car or even a camper van for your road trip is very easy. For backpackers, students, couples, and even entire families, driving around New Zealand for vacations is a popular activity, especially during summer.

7. International Environment: If you want to meet people from all over the world, this is the best place to do so. Auckland, the most populated city in the country, is like a mini New York. It is a cosmopolitan and diverse city where people from all over the world converge.

8. World’s Extreme sports capital: If you are an adrenalin lover, this is the place to be. Kiwis created the first bungee jumping in the world and the range of extreme sports is very interesting, you can choose skydiving, bungee, rafting, caves, zipline, canyoning, and much more.

9. Just happiness: The kiwi attitude is all about being happy and chilled. The fun thing here is that it is contagious.

I’m sure you are convinced now…

Remember INTERNeX can help with all of your travel bookings so get in touch today for more information – travel@internexworld.co.nz

 Explore New Zealand with INTERNeX

Winter in New Zealand

Winter is definitely settling in here in NZ! Looking to plan a winter adventure, kiwi style? We’ve put together a list of reasons why NZ in winter is awesome:

  1. Less queues and no peak pricing: One of the great things about travelling New Zealand in winter is that it’s considered the ‘low season’, meaning you can check out some of the biggest tourist hotspots and avoid those crazy summer queues! Note: Avoid the school holidays if you can, as these tend to be busier times. https://www.govt.nz/browse/education/school-and-college/2016-school-holidays/
  1. Whale watching in Kaikoura: While sperm whales hang out in the Kaikoura coast all year round, come winter the humpback, pilot, blue and southern right whales stop by on their way from the Antarctic to the tropics! June to August is the best times to see them, plus with the added bonus of the beautiful snow capped mountain scenery.
  1. Hanmer Springs: Hanmer springs is located between Christchurch and Kaikoura, and is considered one of New Zealand’s best hot springs resorts. With picturesque scenery surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the famous thermal pools and spa (co.nz) are a beautiful place to relax.
  1. Queenstown: Know as the adventure capital of NZ, Queenstown is the perfect place for a winter adventure! With world class ski fields, beautiful scenery, bars, ski-touring and more, you’ll be sure to see some of the best winter scenery there is to offer.
  1. Baby Seals in Kaikoura!: The perfect spot for the animal lovers among us. There is a waterfall located 15 minutes north of Kaikoura (Ohau Waterfall Walk) which is filled with baby seals during the winter months 🙂
  1. For the snow sport lovers: NZ is home to 18 commercially operated ski fields. The three main regions that are popular among tourists are Mount Ruapehu (in the central North Island), the Southern Lakes (Queenstown and Wanaka in the South Island), and Mount Hutt (near Christchurch in the South Island).
  1. Ohakune Mardi Gras: Known to be the premier winter street party of the season, this is an awesome way to welcome the cooler months with local and international artists, street performance, fireworks, and an atmosphere like no other. For ticket information and more see: http://ohakunemardigras.co.nz/#_

NOTE: Stay safe on our roads. Be sure to take extra care on road trips, especially in winter where the roads are often icy. Make sure to check the conditions before beginning your journey, ensure your car is road safe with all defrosters, heaters, indicators, lights, tires, etc. are all in good working order.

We’d love to hear about your winter adventures. Let us know what you’ve got planned for the upcoming winter months in the comment box below.

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INTERNeX New Zealand: Bay of Islands 2015

Kia Ora Everybody! We hope you had a great weekend, because we definitely did with an amazing Stray tour up to the Bay of Islands!

On Saturday the 11th of April, Me (Yoran), Esmerlin, Joyce and two INTERNeX Participants started our great weekend full of fun. Our stray driver Muesli picked us up in front of the Stray office in Auckland at 7:20 AM (damn that was early).

On our way to the Bay of Islands we made several stops. We stopped a few times to use the toilet of course, but we also stopped at a huge Kauri Tree to do some tree hugging. After that, we stopped at a cute little farmers market to grab some breakfast.

In the bus on our way up to the Bay of Islands, our driver was just explaining what kinds of activities we could do on Saturday and Sunday. He was explaining a Hole in the rock tour with the possibility of seeing some dolphins, another boat tour, and then he told us that we could also do a Skydive…

Of course, as badass as we are, we just decided to do it and 2 hours later we jumped out of an airplane…

Joyce Skydive

The same night we had a great BBQ for only $12, and the next day we just decided to take it easy, take a ferry to the first capital city of New Zealand (Russell), and just walk around and let the beautiful view sink in. If you want to see any more pictures, take a look on our Facebook Page! (Link at the bottom)

We want to thank Stray for this great weekend!

If you have anything that you would like to do, and you would like to do it in a group, let us know! You can send us a private message on our Facebook Page, or you can email us!

Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/INTERNeXNZ?ref=hl

E-mail:           pr@internexnewzealand.com

INTERNeX New Zealand: KIWI Experience Bay of Islands!

To give you all the best tips and information about traveling in New Zealand, our interns Anke & Jeroen hopped on the green KIWI Experience bus to the Bay of Islands & Cape Reinga last weekend!

Only a couple of hours away from Auckland, you find the beautiful Paihia in the Bay of Islands! The names gives it away already, it’s a bay, filled with islands! 144 to be precise! There are so many awesome activities to be done and places to be explored over there!

For example: Kayaking, parasailing, swimming with dolphins, relaxing on one of many beautiful beaches, taking a cruise or going to the far north for a day! There you can find cape Reinga with its famous lighthouse. And close to that, you can go sand-boarding on the sand-dunes, which is a great and unique experience! Even cruising back to Paihia by bus is awesome, because the bus driver gets a bit bored of the normal road, they will just use 90-mile beach! Which is actually 55 miles (or 90km) long..

Have a look at some snapshots we took during our adventure up in the Bay! And if you’re interest in booking a trip, let us know at pr@internexnewzealand.com and we will help you book it! 🙂

A big thanks to CK and the KIWI Experience crew for having us!

INTERNeX New Zealand: Stray Famil Trip!

Our interns just got back from an amazing week traveling the north island of New Zealand together with a bunch of travel agents from around the country and Australia! Thanks to Stray Travel, Anke & Jeroen had the amazing opportunity to see some of the North Island, it’s beautiful nature, culture and people.

The first day started off in Auckland, with the destination: Raglan, the surf capital of NZ! After some surfing it was time for fish & chips! The second day was all about the Maori culture, after visiting a Marae (Maori meeting house) there were some classes in weaving and ealing!

On day 3 and 4, the group went over to Blue Duck Station, which was pretty much in the middle of nowhere! Without a cellphone signal or WiFi, it was time for having a beer around the bonfire, riding a horse across the beautiful hills and some clay target shooting!

It really was an amazing time and an awesome experience! For everyone who would like to travel New Zealand (or even Asia nowadays!) Stray Travel comes highly recommended by INTERNeX!! They have some sweet as travel deals on their website at the moment so check it out! : http://www.straytravel.com/deals/travel-deals/

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A big thanks to DC over at Stray to offer us this opportunity! And the rest of the Stray crew off course! Cheers!

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Flying Kiwi – Discover New Zealand in a different way

A couple of weeks ago we booked for the first time someone on the Flying Kiwi bus. This awesome company arranges tours through whole New Zealand in a sporting and adventurous way. Instead of hostels you stay in camp grounds and can camp or stay in the camp lodges. Also, you can rent a bike for the whole trip and then if you want to bike for a few hours along some special parts of the country you can and if you get too tired you can just get back on the bus. 25 years ago Flying Kiwi started with arranging bike tours to show some different sides of New Zealand and with so many beautiful parts of New Zealand to see by bike they now have the whole country covered. It’s a pretty special way to see the country.

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Some Flying Kiwi facts:

  • Flying Kiwi travels with a group and let you enjoy unique activities and show you stunning landscapes. You bike with a group, which means that you meet new people who like to enjoy New Zealand on a sportive way as well.
  • Flying Kiwi has a license to enable more national parks. They can show you more special places, than other tour operators.
  • They let you experience some real traditional New Zealand culture.
  • You can walk a secret glow-worm walk at night
  • They know a pool in the rain forest, swimming time!
  • You sleep in a tent and they have campsites in the middle of the nature. That means, campfires and spectacular sunsets
  • Flying Kiwi provide all the food, so you don’t have to take care of that.

You can check out www.flyingkiwi.com for all the tours. You always get 5% discount, on the lowest internet price, if you book though INTERNeX. For questions and bookings mail to pr@internexnewzealand.com to book your adventurous tour.